amazon_primeJust over 8 in 10 U.S. TV households subscribe to pay-TV service, according to a new estimate from Leichtman Research Group (LRG). That’s down from 87% in 2011, but level with an 82% reading in 2005.

Furthermore, 14% of those who paid for pay-TV subscriptions in the past year don’t have them anymore, according to LRG. More broadly, about 2.6% of TV households that subscribed in the past year do not have a pay-TV subscription at present. That compares to 2% in 2006, 1.5% in 2011, 3% in 2014 and 2.5% in 2015, LRG highlights in a press release.

About 1% of those who canceled their pay-TV subscriptions this past year were new to the category, LRG found in producing its ¨Cable, DBS & Telcos: Competing for Customers 2016¨ report. That’s the same as in 2015 and 2011 and substantially lower than 3.5% in 2006.

82% of TV Households Subscribe to Pay-TV
“About 82% of households that use a TV currently subscribe to a pay-TV service. This is down from where it was five years ago, and similar to the penetration level eleven years ago,” LRG president and principal analyst Bruce Leichtman was quoted as saying.

“The rates of those exiting the category, or intending to leave, are actually similar to recent years. The decline in penetration is also due to a lack of those who are coming into the category, and the industry not keeping pace with movers and related rental housing growth.”

Other key market insights include:

  • Overall, about 3% of TV households last subscribed to a pay-TV service 1-3 years ago, about 6% subscribed over 3 years ago, and about 6% never subscribed to a pay-TV service
  • 7% of current pay-TV subscribers did not subscribe to a TV service for more than a month at some time over the past two years
  • 25% of those who moved in the past year do not currently subscribe to a pay-TV service — a higher level than in previous years
  • 12% of pay-TV subscribers are likely to switch from their provider in the next six months — similar to 11% in 2015, and 12% in 2014
  • 6% of pay-TV subscribers are likely to disconnect from their provider and not subscribe to any TV service in the next six months — similar to 7% in 2015, and 7% in 2014
  • Mean reported monthly spending on pay-TV service is $103.10 — an increase of 4% in the past year (the lowest annual increase in five years)